British heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua has admitted “I let myself down” after he suffered a crushing defeat to Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia.
Their showdown dubbed Rage of the Red Sea was their second bout after Joshua lost the first and also his belts to the Ukrainian.
Sunday’s defeat aw Joshua come under heavy criticism as the 32-year-old’s career came at crossroads.
He stormed out of the ring in a fit of pique in Jeddah, then returned moments later to deliver a rambling speech peppered with expletives.
Expressing how he felt about the match, Joshua took to Twitter where he hailed Usyk as “a class act”, adding: “Yesterday I had to mentally take myself into a dark place to compete for the championship belts!
“I had two fights, one with Usyk and one with my emotions, and both got the better of me.
“I’ll be the first to admit, I let myself down. I acted out of pure passion and emotion and when not controlled it ain’t great.
“I love this sport so so much and I’ll be better from this point on. Respect.”
Tony Bellew, a retired cruiserweight champion who was similarly beaten by Usyk, sprang to Joshua’s defence.
“Made a mistake like everyone else on planet earth has done, only difference is he makes his in front of millions on TV and then comes out (which is hard to do) and apologises to everyone!” the Briton tweeted.